Friday, September 5, 2014

Creating Your Own Category

As mentioned on Wednesday, the first way to create a successful product in a category already dominated by one or two other brands is to spend lots of money and time to try to push your brand ahead of the others. This is what WOTC tried to do with Kaijudo. Needless to say, this doesn't often work, as WOTC can now attest, both with Kaijudo as well as Hecatomb and Dreamblade (and Upper Deck with the Vs. TCG).

The other way to cause your game to dominate its category is to create your own category. Cases in point:  Dominion and Cards Against Humanity. Though to be accurate, neither company planned to create a new category, rather the game play did so.

Both games entered the very crowded board/card game category, which was dominated by games like Munchkin, in the straight hobby card game category, and Settlers of Catan in the hobby board game category.  Ergo, Dominion creates a new category, the deck building game and it becomes successful as shown by the number of deck building games that have hit the market in the years since Dominion released. Same thing with Cards Against Humanity. Yes, it is a risqué Apples to Apples knockoff, but it was a risque Apples to Apples knockoff that caught people's attention and created a new category into which other games (Personally Incorrect and Love 2 Hate come to mind) have moved indicating that these companies see this as a viable category.

In both cases, Dominion and Cards Against Humanity dominate their particular category, mainly because they are both good and have first mover advantage.. Unless superior games arise in the categories, both should continue to dominate their respective category and nether will have to fight to succeed in the much broader board/card game category. Create your own category and dominate it.